Today was a day! Bad luck, followed by good luck (and Good Samaritans), with three more courses played before I made it back home to Southwestern Minnesota.
I made my way from Creston, Iowa to Orient, Iowa, to check out an old object course at Lake Orient Recreation Area. That course went in the ground twenty two years ago…but still uses something that locals refer to as “dog dishes” as targets, versus traditional baskets. A few of said dog dishes were missing, so I did my best to play the course as an 18-hole safari round.
After finishing my round in Orient, I used UDisc to make my way to Greenfield, Iowa, to play the final 36 holes of my trip: two 18-hole courses at Greenfield Lake City Park. However, as I got close to town, Google Maps sent me down a gravel road that I later learned had been essentially closed to the public a few years earlier. A road that was more mud than gravel, particularly after the area had been hit by a three-inch rain the night before. And at the bottom of one hill, in front of a second hill heading back up to safety? My car was stuck.
I was able to back up about 250 feet from the worst area on the road, but my car would move no further. So defeated and a little embarrassed, I decided to hike up the road to find help. Men at the Co-op in town said to check with the County Transportation Office across the street, who told me that they MIGHT be able to free my car from its muddy tomb on Wednesday, after the road dried out. But not wanting to spend the next 48+ hours stranded in tiny Greenfield, they called their local police department…to see if they had any other ideas. Greenfield Police Chief Jesse Lund to the rescue! Jesse stopped by, assessed the situation, then said he might know a local farmer who would drive over with his tractor to try and pull me out and up the hill. And within a half-hour? I was back on the road, albeit $80 poorer for my troubles (had to offer said farmer a good payment, for his time and trouble).
Police chief Lund then made sure I knew how to find a car wash (car was covered in mud), as well as showing me how to find a better route to those two 18-hole courses in town. He was a life-saver. Thanks Jesse!
Played a quick, muddy two rounds of disc golf at the City Park’s Front and Back courses, which were fun (albeit very short), then I started the long march from Greenfield toward home. I made it back to Springfield about fifteen minutes after our girls finished their first day back in school. Tired, dirty, but very happy to be home.
A successful trip to Kansas City! We got a lot of great work completed for the Disc Golf Foundation, plus I was able to play another 27 new courses on the trip. No disc golf for me for at LEAST the rest of the week, as I need to let my shoulder rest and get caught up with work. But I will hopefully get back out there next week if I can.
Magic Number = 596 (1,404 Courses Played)
How it All Got Started: Tonn’s Travels >>
A main purpose of this blog will be to share information, helpful tips and tricks (everything from health and fitness to methods for saving money while you’re our “bagging courses” of your own), and ideas for better, safer course design. But I am also hoping to inspire others with my passion for the sport, via the stories I can share about all of the interesting experiences I have. All of the interesting people I meet. All of the amazing courses I am blessed to have the opportunity to play. If I can inspire even a handful of individuals to get off the couch, get “out of their bubble” or “security blanket” and explore more of this big, beautiful planet we all call home? Then I will consider this effort a success.
Derek Tonn is a member of the DGA’s Ambassador Team. His company, Mapformation, LLC, has been DGA’s partner in the development of disc golf tee signage since 2012. The longer our two companies have worked together, and the more Derek has gotten to know all the great folks at DGA the more he has wanted to formally sing the company’s praises. The more he has realized that “Steady” Ed the father of disc golf and the modern day Frisbee vision for the sport and his company perfectly describes his own interests and priorities related to disc golf, and the more Derek has recently been encouraged to share his story.